Bailey's Beds Guide to Holiday Treats for Your Dog
Delicious meals and luscious treats are some of the greatest highlights of the holiday season. These festive eats are enjoyed by the whole family. Most pet parents find themselves asking the same question each year: is it safe to share the holiday meal with our furry friends?
It’s absolutely essential to keep your dog’s health and safety a priority. Since many holiday treats have ingredients toxic to dogs, it’s important to carefully discern between safe and unsafe foods for your pup. The following guide will help you learn what is and isn’t safe to feed your dog from your holiday spread. At the close of this guide, we’ll provide a few ideas for dog safe treats this Christmas.
6 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog
It may be tempting to pass a portion of the holiday meal to your pup this season. However, many festive eats are filled with things that are harmful and even toxic to your pup. No matter how much you enjoy them, the following six items should never be given to your dog.
- Onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots
These ingredients are part of the allium plant family, which is toxic to dogs. While no one is planning to hand a whole onion to their dog, it’s important to take note of which recipes use onions and garlic. Many roast recipes rely heavily on both onion and garlic for their flavour.
If you didn’t cook a dish, make sure to ask about the ingredients. Keep in mind that even onion and garlic powder (often used to season dishes) can be toxic to your dog. When in doubt, avoid any foods that may contain these ingredients.
Most pet parents know that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but it’s good to be reminded of this before the holiday season. Many human treats include chocolate, so it’s important to avoid feeding your dog any baked goods or treats that contain the ingredient.
- Macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts can cause a host of problems for your pup. Since the ingredient is a staple in holiday baked goods, make sure they aren’t in any treats you plan to share with your dog. Since so many baked goods have harmful ingredients, most pet nutritionists recommend skipping baked treats intended for humans. Instead, choose a dog safe treat made with your dog’s needs in mind.
- Fruit cakes and other fruity baked goods
Grapes (and raisins, which are just dried grapes) are highly toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause serious problems like kidney failure. Many holiday desserts like fruit cakes and holiday pudding use these ingredients. Even recipes like banana bread may contain small amounts of these ingredients.
Xylitol is an ingredient often used as an artificial sweetener. It can cause low blood sugar and liver damage when fed to your dog. Baked goods, beverages, and even peanut butter may contain this ingredient. Any time you feed something new to your pet, it’s important to carefully read the ingredients to ensure xylitol isn’t used as a sweetener.
- Alcohol and caffeine
Keep your holiday beverages out of reach since most drinks contain ingredients hazardous to dogs. You should never give alcohol or caffeine to your dog.
6 Dog Safe Foods from Your Holiday Spread
If you’re looking for safe foods to give your dog this holiday season, the following six foods can be safely shared with your four-legged friend.
- Turkey or lamb meat (without skin or bones)
Both turkey and lamb are safe to feed your dog, as long as the skin and bones are removed. Both skin and bones pose a choking hazard to your dog. It’s also important to make sure any roasted meat isn’t cooked in onion or garlic, which are toxic to dogs.
- Green beans and Brussels sprouts
As long as your green beans and Brussels sprouts aren’t smothered in butter, these two vegetables are safe to share with your dog.
- Peas and carrots
Peas and carrots are also safe to share with your dog. If you plan to cook these vegetables with other ingredients, make sure to set some aside for your dog before adding things like butter or seasoning.
- Mashed potatoes (without butter)
Mashed potatoes (and other potato dishes) are safe to share with your dog. Since dairy can be harmful to your dog, it’s best to give your dog a portion of the potato dish without any butter.
- Sweet potatoes
Cooked sweet potatoes make an excellent treat for your pup. Make sure to give your dog sweet potatoes without butter, brown sugar, marshmallows, or other ingredients. A small amount of cranberry sauce can be given to your dog, as long as it doesn’t have added sweeteners.
- Scrambled eggs
Many families enjoy scrambled eggs for breakfast during the holiday season. Scrambled eggs are safe to give your dog, although it’s best to give your dog a portion that isn’t cooked in milk or butter.
4 Holiday Treat Ideas for Your Dog
Sometimes it’s safest to choose a treat specifically prepared for your dog. This is one way to ensure your dog’s holiday treat won’t cause any digestive issues this season.
- Peanut butter
Peanut butter is a classic treat for a reason. If your pup loves peanut butter, plan to give them some as a treat this Christmas. Freeze the peanut butter in a Kong toy or serve a little on top of their food while your family sits down for their holiday meal.
- Cookies (made specifically for dogs)
There are lots of recipes for dog-safe cookies (like this list from Rover: https://www.rover.com/blog/diy-christmas-dog-cookie-recipes/). Take some time to bake some holiday cookies for your dog to enjoy. If you have children, they may enjoy helping you bake treats for their furry companion.
- Sweet potatoes
Many dogs enjoy sweet potatoes as a treat. If you’re making a sweet potato dish for your family, set aside a small portion of the sweet potatoes for your dog. When served plain, these make a great low-maintenance holiday treat.
- Store-bought treats
If you aren’t prepared to bake cookies for your dog this season, pick up their favourite treats from the store. When your family sits down at the table to enjoy a holiday meal, make sure your pup has special treats of their own.
The holiday season can be a minefield full of unsafe foods for your dog. To keep your pup happy and healthy this season, make sure to only offer dog safe treats. Whether you set aside a portion of your family’s meal or make something specifically for your dog, the holiday season can be filled with culinary wonder for every member of your family.